FanPost

D.J. Williams - Arkansas (TE: 6-2⅛ - 245)

Williams  is the NCAA’s active career leader in receptions (147) and receiving yards (1,817) by a tight end. His 147 catches are an Arkansas record by a non-WR and are second on UA’s all-time career receptions list.  On Dec. 9, he was named the first Mackey Award winner in Arkansas history, given to the nation’s top tight end.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/14807190/still-crucial-to-offenses-tight-ends-mia-in-this-draft quotes Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "It looks like the thinnest group of TEs in the past few years."

Undoubtedly, the Falcons will need to draft a TE in either 2011 or 2012, with Tony Gonzalez set to retire, and allowing a young, ascending talent the opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade from one of the game's true professionals would serve the team well. 

However, many Falcons fans feel they should look at other positions in 2011,  and try to find an "instant starter" in 2012.  Keep in mind, the TE position is one not given to fast results.  First-round tight ends since 2000 averaged 32.2 receptions, 351.6 yards and 2.3 touchdowns as rookies. Only three of the players -- Jermaine Gresham, Dustin Keller and Jeremy Shockey -- had more than 40 receptions as rookies. Shockey was the only one with more than 600 yards in his first season.

Season Team   REC YDS AVG LNG TD
  149 1831 12.3 76 10
2007 Arkansas   5 94 18.8 28 0
2008 Arkansas   58 699 12.1 76 3
2009 Arkansas   32 411 12.8 69 3
2010 Arkansas   54 627 11.6 46 4

Tony Pauline (CNNSI.com and www.draftinsider.net ) discusses Williams at the Senior Bowl:

Williams looked strong all week but pulled it all together on Wednesday. He displayed terrific athleticism and speed, beating defensive backs down the field for the reception. Williams also gave terrific effort blocking all day.

Tight end DJ Williams is planning on running the 40 again at Arkansas pro-day. His official times from the combine were 4.59s & 4.67.

Doug Farrar of footballoutsiders.com and yahoosports.com discusses his blocking with DJ Williams:

The challenge Williams faces is getting across the fact that he can be an every-down tight end despite his height. At Arkansas, learning to block consistently was the first step. "I got caught up in my sophomore year at Arkansas in catching 60-plus balls, and I got real excited, and really didn't excel in blocking," Williams said at the combine. "And Coach (Arkanas head coach Bobby) Petrino didn't like that one bit. I worked real hard going into my junior year at becoming a better blocker. And my senior year I kind of put two and two together and became a complete tight end. Hats off to Coach Petrino; he gave me the right mindset and mentality to become not just a pass-catching tight end, but a run blocker as well."  http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/The-Second-Shutdown-40-47-D-J-Williams-TE-A?urn=nfl-wp169

Wes Bunting (NFP) summarizes:

A thick, well-put-together athlete, but lacks the type of height you want to see at the tight end position; is more of an off the line Y/H-back tweener. Lines up all over the Arkansas offense and possesses above-average straight-line speed for the position. Has the ability to get into his routes quickly from a three-point stance, keeping his pad level down and accelerating off the line. Does a nice job using his big frame to go up and pluck the football. Exhibits strong hands and works hard after the catch. Uses his hands well in tight areas, has some shiftiness to his game and does a nice job getting into defenders and quickly slipping in order to generate some separation for himself when they want to get physical with him down the field.

http://sidelinescouting.com/rankings/te/dj-williams.shtml  : This year's Aaron Hernandez, but a better blocker.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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